Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for the first time ever hosted an all-star West Michigan lineup of hip hop artists for the Tuesday night music series. Story, photo gallery.
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He sought to define for the nearly full amphitheater of families and fans just exactly what hip hop is.
“Some of you are probably wondering what that even means,” remarked Mike G, aka Mike Gagliardo, who then made it all clear through La Famiglia’s performance: The avenue of hip hop the band explored for the audience was a non-traditional sort, with less boom bap beats and rap, and more a combination of jazz and blues accompaniment with complementary lyricism.
The all-encompassing vibe of La Famiglia’s music on Tuesday exuded high energy and excitement, from the drummers to the pianists and even to Mike G’s extensive guitar solos at the end of songs instead of just his lyrics. He got his point across: Hip hop is more than what it seems.
This week’s soulful “G-Raps” installment of Tuesday Evening Music Club proved that hip hop has no age limit.
The colorful nature of the music had children and adults singing along and seniors nodding their heads to the music, demonstrating how much people have come to appreciate hip hop and R&B. There was a niche for everyone, and the clapping and dancing proved it.
The crowd of 1,000-plus cheered Mike G’s emotional guitar riffs and meaningful lyrics. And with their exhilarating music and energetic stage presence, the artists that performed had no problem getting the crowd up on its feet — from artist originals to covers such as Pharrell’s “Happy.”
The evening boasted guest performances by Lady Ace Boogie, J-Rob, Daze, Rick Chyme, Sean P, Venson Dix and Maurice Townsend, who helped bring even more perspective to the definition of hip hop.
A break-dancing exhibition followed, earning everyone’s full, undivided attention.
“I want my kids to be exposed to as much music as possible,” said one longtime Meijer Gardens showgoer. “I want them to appreciate all genres.”
Mission accomplished, Mike G.
Up Next for Tuesday Evening Music Club: Camille and Complicated Animals perform on July 19.
PHOTO GALLERY: G-Raps at Tuesday Evening Music Club
Photos by Anthony Norkus